Folk dances are one of the most interesting aspects of Bihar’s culture. Most of the folk dances reflect common life, people’s sorrows, accomplishments, and problems. On important social gatherings, these dances are performed in group with musical instruments like table, dholak and harmonium accompanying the singers. Here is a list of 6 most popular folk dances from Bihar.
Bidesia: Most prominent of the folk dances from Bihar
Bidesia is a form of dance drama which holds a unique place amongst folk dances from Bihar. It is believed to be created by Bhikari Thakur, a person who was barber by profession and left everything for his passion of drama. Bidesia deals with social issues & conflict between the traditional and modern, the rich and the poor and delicate matters like emotional battles. In old days, Bidesia was famous as it gave voice to many social concerned topics like the cause of poor laborers and tried to create awareness about the poor status of women in Bhojpuri society. Sometimes, the tone of Bidesia is sarcastic but it uses vibrant dance moves and music with emotional stories.
Jat Jatin is usually performed by folk dancers from Koshi and Mithila. It is performed by couples who showcase a story. Sometimes, it also shows social causes like floods and other natural calamities. To show a real picture, sometimes a mask is also worn by dancers. The husband wife relationship is portrayed beautifully this dance form.
Jhijhian is sung when there is no rain for a long time. Through `Jhijhian` people try to portray drought where there is no rain. They pray to Lord Indra for rain. This dance is ritualistic in nature with the songs showing deep devotion to Lord Indra. The musicians are usually a lead singer and harmonium player with a drummer.
Jumari of Bihar is similar to Garba in Gujarat. It is performed by only married women. It is a folk dance of Mithilanchal. It signifies a good omen and usually performed after the month of Ashvin coming in September-October. It signifies celebration in wake of changing seasons with dancing, singing and celebrations.
Paika is a dance of martial character performed with shield and sword. It showcases skills & ability of the dancers in handling sword and shield. The dance reach at the climax with the fast beats produced by `Mandal`. Paika is derived from Sanskrit word `Padatika` meaning ‘the infantry’. The basic objective of the dance was development of physical excitement and it became unconsciously a rehearsal of battle in ancient times.
Sama Chakeva is a prominent festival in Bihar among Maithili speaking population. The festival includes folk theatre celebrating love between brothers and sisters and is based on a Puranik legend. It tells the story of Sama, a daughter of Krishna who had been falsely accused of wrongdoing. Her father punished her by turning her into a bird, but the love and sacrifice of her brother Chakeva eventually allowed her to regain human form.